Micron’s Boise campus lit up in celebration of Pride Month.
I feel fortunate to be able to collaborate with a group of great CEOs of Idaho-based companies. Throughout the pandemic, we met to discuss pressing issues and opportunities our companies and teams faced. We joined our voices to urge public unity in response to the pandemic. Today, we stand together for equal rights for every Idaho citizen.
Below is an open letter we drafted in support of the rights of our teams and others in our community. This letter, which was published as an op-ed in this week’s Idaho Statesman, details how inclusive policies create a better working and business environment. We CEOs feel it is important to speak clearly on the need for equal rights and basic respect for every one of our employees.
I hope you will join us in advocating for the rights of your LGBTQ+ neighbors, colleagues and friends.
Idaho CEO Letter on the Importance of Respect and Inclusion
To our teams,
Our companies know that antidiscrimination and inclusion policies are good for business. When you know that your talents matter and your individual needs are cared for by your colleagues and company leaders, you bring your best self to work — driving innovation, promoting collaboration and increasing company revenues.
As CEOs and Idaho employers, we recognize the importance of ensuring everyone feels safe and included — not only within our workplaces but also in the communities where we live and play. Being able to live in safety and with dignity should not stop when you leave the office. Everyone should be able to take their kids to the park, shop for groceries, rent an apartment, or participate in other day-to-day activities without fear or worry of discrimination.
Research shows that inclusive policies improve companies’ performance and ability to attract and retain top talent. A recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation study found that from small, private companies to multinational, publicly owned corporations, fostering a culture that leverages acceptance and growth of all employees is critical to driving better outcomes. Companies who do well provide benefits to same-sex spouses or domestic partners and transgender people, and participate in philanthropic support of LBGTQ+ organizations, among other inclusive practices. Our companies have important policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment and promote diversity, equality and inclusion.
We know that employees and prospective candidates not only look at our company policies but also our communities when considering whether to work and live in Idaho. People look for companies where they can flourish and communities where they can thrive. If they believe their friends and family members may be discriminated against, they are more likely to choose a competing offer in a state that accepts people no matter who they are, how they identify, or whom they love.
Treating everyone with dignity is not only the right thing to do — it’s the smart thing, too. According to Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, diverse and inclusive teams create more ideas, make better decisions, and execute faster on innovation. We have certainly seen that firsthand at our companies.
The bottom line is no one should be harassed or discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We must demand and ensure that it doesn’t happen, and we support legislation that protects all Idahoans. We will continue to strongly advocate for those human rights and ask others to join us. It’s right for business growth, and it’s right for Idaho!
Bradley Wiskirchen, CEO, Kount
George Mulhern, CEO, Cradlepoint
Nate Jorgensen, CEO Boise Cascade
Odette C. Bolano, President & CEO, Saint Alphonsus Health System
Sandeep Sahai, CEO, Clearwater Analytics, LLC
Sanjay Mehrotra, President & CEO, Micron
Vivek Sankaran, President & CEO, Albertsons Companies